Electric Light Orchestra
Out of the Blue


3.0
good


Release Date: 1977 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The band reaches the top... from out of the blue.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

Mik Kaminski had his own blue violin. Hugh McDowell had hot pink pants. Bev Bevan had purple ELO drumsticks with his name and the ELO logo idolized on them. Even keyboardist Richard Tandy had over 13 keyboards at his disposal at once, and lead band member Jeff Lynne was beginning to flirt with the mainstream success. ELO was beginning to become a little smug for their own good. For now however, the band maintained their status with a solid addition, a double album that maintained its own status as one of the most influential double albums in history. Out of the Blue was retailed and marketed in double vinyls, cassettes and eight-tracks and quickly skyrocketed to the Top 5 charts in the US and UK, as well as much of Europe.

They had finally made it big, and held recognition from every corner of the globe. From Rolling Stone to the staunchest critics, all claimed ELO as the most original rock band to spawn from England, and Out of the Blue was massive. The tour alone featured record breaking attendance and over 92 days with fog machines and massive stage laser shows that made Pink Floyds look like a keychain flashlight. The band really had done it; the fans embraced them for all of their music and talent.

Flashback. The year was 1977, and rushing around with energy to spare after their last tour, Jeff Lynne wrote over 70 minutes of material in less than a month while on vacation in the Jura Mountains of Switzerland. Among the material to become “Out of the Blue”, Lynne wrote some of his most favored material, including the analog propelled “Turn to Stone”, “Sweet Talkin’ Woman”, and of course the almost embarrassingly enjoyable “Mr. Blue Sky” which would become one of their greatest hits and most acclaimed singles. Filled with orchestral backing and stretched dry vocals, the album was an impractical salivating musical wonder. Many off centered hits are contained on this album, and often are better than the hit singles themselves. “Across the Border” is a flavored piece of rock and roll told as a farewell: “I gotta get that southbound train tonight, if I don’t get to the border, then ill write”, and featuring a southern trumpet festival of excitement. Another great track is the cliché-as-it-sounds “Sweet is the Night”. While easily seen as filler for the album, with the right aspect is easily one of the best songs off the album. Featuring catchy lead vocals and backing vocals that can capture the heart, the song is a guilty pleasure for sure, and an emotive pop song that matches no other.

As the soup special for Out of the Blue is the 4-piece track entitled “Concerto for a Rainy Day”. Starting with the epic and mysterious “Standin’ in the Rain”, the entire superstructure is about the change of seasons and the effect they had on Jeff Lynne while in his chalet. The intros to the piece feature rain and thunder recorded from the vacation house itself. After the flurry of the storm comes the gloomy “Big Wheels”. Using the dim feelings that are often experienced when seeing the world right after the storm, one can’t help but remember those days when you couldn’t go play outside because of the weather. Continuing the feelings with “Summer and Lightning” the track starts back up with acoustical homesickness and longing. The entire concerto is simply astounding, and while overridden with synthesizers, the track finishes up with the most recommended track of guilty pleasure ever conceived. “Mr. Blue Sky” is the sun coming out to shine, and that strange excitement that it is good to go outside once again. “Mr. Blue Sky” combines everything glorious you could ever imagine in a true pop song. The guitar solo makes your chest stick out, the hits on the bell of the ride cymbal give you the sudden urge to get up and look outside. It’s the musical inspiration of the outdoors, and it’s embarrassing as hell.

Jeff Lynne had some interesting creativity in the Alps, as is seen on the song “Wild West Hero”. While dually corny with its operatic chorus, it’s an inspirational and heart sung ballad with western piano solos and cowboy inspired guitar and symphonic counterparts. In fact, almost all the tracks are hard not to sing to on this album. The band also had a few oddballs for the album, Birmingham Blues and The Whale attempt to give a different flavor, using really strange chords and overusing the synthesizer, respectively. It created a weird effect, especially when played live. While given a few mediocre reviews at the time of release, the album went on to receive attention everywhere. It’s featured in the 1000 albums you must hear before you die, as well as being named by Q magazine as the 11th biggest guilty pleasure album of all time. A few spots on the album can really give you the idea that the band was coming off a bit too arrogant, but for most of the musicality shown, the album is a positive addition. Out of the Blue was one of the crown achievements that further idolized ELO as one of the biggest selling acts in 70’s music.



Recent reviews by this author
Dream Theater AwakeHole Live Through This
Dream Theater OctavariumDream Theater A Dramatic Turn of Events
Primus Green NaugahydeQueensryche Empire
user ratings (111)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Parallels
May 18th 2010



6641 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

4th ELO review. Enjoy!


edit: aw no album art D:

Jethro42
May 18th 2010



12390 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yes-I'm-turnin-to-stone-cause-you-aint-coming-home-and-you-won't-coming-home-if-I'm-turnin-to-stone-you've-been-gone-for-so-long-and-I-cant-carry-on-yes-im-turnin-im-turnin-im-turnin-to-stone

Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
May 18th 2010



7983 Comments


Please review Face the Music. Absolutely my favorite ELO album

Jethro42
May 18th 2010



12390 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I was 14 years old when this came out. I've heard it quite often and it's still good. Review is a good read. Posd

Parallels
May 18th 2010



6641 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

oh im probably gonna review all of the ELO albums eventually. I love this band to shreds.
also thanks jethro, glad you enjoyed it

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
May 18th 2010



31072 Comments


edit: aw no album art D:

Sorted

Digging: Banks - Goddess

Parallels
May 18th 2010



6641 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yes! thanks.

derekkp
May 19th 2010



141 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I was born in the wrong music era I'm 19 and this is absolutely my favorite band. Great to see a review on it. Loved the review btw

TBliss
May 19th 2010



987 Comments


Man I love this band, I was brought up on ELO. Great review man, pos'd.

Yazz_Flute
December 12th 2011



18770 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Mr. Blue Sky is so great.

Digging: The Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

Yazz_Flute
June 6th 2012



18770 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

By the power of Mr. Blue Sky I WILL CONQUER THE WORLD

Ire
October 20th 2012



41753 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

wats with the gay ratings damn

MeatSalad
October 20th 2012



14430 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

3 is too low

Digging: Mr. Bungle - California

Ire
October 20th 2012



41753 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

so is 3.5 silly

MeatSalad
October 20th 2012



14430 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Maybe but some of the tracks are just colossally better than others

TRMshadow
October 20th 2012



4982 Comments


Never listened to this band and probably never will.

nice review, pos'd

Ire
October 20th 2012



41753 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^^ye

not a new review travis montgomereary

Parallels
November 12th 2013



6641 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Across the Border, Standin' in the Rain, Summer and Lightning, Mr Blue Sky and Sweet Is the Night are the only songs i can stand from this anymore. This is a bit too much pop for my taste, so I'll stick to Eldorado and New World Record

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
March 15th 2014



15906 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

bloated filler ridden thing but sweet talkin woman is perfect

Digging: Nemrud - Journey of the Shaman

osmark86
March 24th 2014



3921 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

that it is. great tune all around. personally this album just clicked for me however bloated it is.

Digging: Spectral Lore - III



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy